Emma Thompson Felt "Half Alive" After Discovering Ex-Husband Kenneth Branagh's Affairs

Emma Thompson recalled how she felt when she discovered her husband of eight years, Kenneth Branagh, was having an affair with Helena Bonham Carter. Keep reading to find out what she said.

By Amy Lamare Nov 11, 2022 8:01 PMTags

Emma Thomspon knows that love actually can break your heart. 

In a candid new interview, the Love Actually star revealed her anguish and pain at finding out her then-husband, Kenneth Branagh, had cheated on her with Helena Bonham Carter.

"I was utterly, utterly blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set," the 63-year-old told The New Yorker. "What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself."

At the time, Kenneth—who had been married to Emma for eight years—was directing and starring in the 1994 film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein alongside Helena.

"I was half alive," Emma continued. "Any sense of being a lovable or worthy person had gone completely."  

Kenneth and Emma—who had been frequent collaborators appearing in six films together—divorced in 1995, with the Belfast director dating Helena for five years until they split in 1999.

Comparing herself to broken dishes, the the Good Luck to You Leo Grande star revealed that her Sense and Sensibility co-star Greg Wise "picked up the pieces and put them back together."

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And Emma has been with Greg, whom she married in 2003, ever since meeting on the 1995 film. The couple share their adopted Rwandan son Tindyebwa Agaba 35, and daughter Gaia, 22.

"I've learned more from my second marriage just by being married," Emma explained. "As my mother says, 'the first twenty years are the hardest.'"

Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Today, the Harry Potter alum takes a reflective approach to living her life. 

"I've been told I was a fierce and restless octopus," she said. "But they have three hearts and only live for two years. So now I'm in search of a more peaceful existence where I'm not so angry and my one heart will last a bit longer."

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